As protests start, Memphis shows footage of Tyre Nichols's death. Here's what you can see in the video.
As protests start, Memphis shows footage of Tyre Nichols’s death. Here’s what you can see in the video.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Officers used a Taser, pepper spray, and a baton on a 29-year-old Black driver during a brutal traffic stop that sent him to the hospital. He died three days later. Video of the violent arrest was released on Friday.

In one of the four videos that the city of Memphis released on Friday, officers can be heard yelling at Tyre Nichols to get out of his car, and then they can be seen forcing him out of the car. On the video, police try to stun Nichols with a stun gun, but he runs away.

In another video, an officer is seen running toward Nichols, who is on the ground, and other officers. Nichols can be heard yelling for his mother over and over as the officer threatens to pepper spray him. The officer moves away, pulls out a baton, and hits Nichols with it while other officers punch him in the face.

In one video, an officer hits Nichols over and over again while the other officers hold him.

The officers yelled bad words at Nichols the whole time.

After he was beaten, Nichols sat against the car and fell to the ground while the officers talked about the arrest. The four videos were taken by a surveillance camera on SkyCop and by body cameras on officers.

Nichols was a FedEx worker who liked to skateboard and had a 4-year-old son. After the stop, he was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said that what happened was horrible, careless, and cruel. Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer, called the video “appalling” and compared the attack to the beating of Rodney King by police in Los Angeles in 1991.

Five former officers who were fired last week were charged with second-degree murder and other crimes Thursday in connection with Nichols’ death. President Joe Biden joined Nichols’ family in asking for peaceful protests after the video came out.

Family asks for protests to be peaceful: Memphis is sad about Tyre Nichols and is waiting for the video to come out.

The mayor said that the video is “unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland told The Commercial Appeal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, on Friday that he was sad and shocked when he first saw the video.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he said. “Then it turned into anger that a person was treated that way.”

Strickland said that he is happy about the independent review of the specialised units in the department.

“It’s clear that these men broke a rule, went against what they were taught, and broke the law,” Strickland said. “So, we need to figure out if there is anything different the city can do, because we have to do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

The police chief talks about policing reforms and winning back trust.

In an interview with The Commercial Appeal, Davis said that she would hold her officers accountable and “do whatever we need to do to build our relationship with our community.”

Davis said, “This is the time to show our community that, despite all this crap, this crisis, and the problems we’re facing, we’re in it to rebuild trust so that we can work together to heal and show them that they can trust us in something as simple as a traffic stop.”

Davis said that she has asked the Department of Justice and the Association of Chiefs of Police to do an independent review of the department’s specialised units, and that some results will be ready in the next few weeks. She also asked people again to protest in a peaceful way.

Michaela A. Watts, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Unit linked to Nichols’ death is “inactive,” says the mayor.

As protests start, Memphis shows footage of Tyre Nichols's death. Here's what you can see in the video.
As protests start, Memphis shows footage of Tyre Nichols’s death. Here’s what you can see in the video.

The Memphis Police Department unit connected to the officers who are accused of killing Nichols has been inactive since “this event,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in his weekly update Friday afternoon.

It is not clear when the “Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods” (SCORPION) Unit stopped working.

Friday, members of Nichols’ family and their lawyers asked that the SCORPION Unit be completely disbanded and that police departments all over the country look into their saturation units.

Katherine Burgess, The Memphis Commercial Appeal

There will be protests all over the country

On Friday, there will be protests all over the world as police in Memphis prepare to release video of the traffic stop. People and groups all over the country have said that they plan to protest or expect to protest on Friday.

Some of the cities where protests might happen are Chicago, New York, Detroit, and Portland.

Grace Hauck and Marco della Cava, USA TODAY

Biden talks to Nichols’ parents and says how brave they are.

Biden called the parents of Tyre Nichols on Friday afternoon. He told them that he understands their pain and admires their “courage” because he has also lost people close to him.

“It’s a disaster. “I know people will say that to you, but I know,” Biden can be heard saying on a phone set to speaker and held by the Nichols family’s lawyer, Ben Crump. Biden talked about the deaths of his son Beau, who died in 2015 from brain cancer, and his daughter and first wife, who died in a car accident in 1972.

Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden has been told about the traffic stop but has not seen the video footage of it.

USA TODAY’s Joey Garrison

Crump: “We’ve never seen justice come so quickly as this.”

The family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, said that the speed with which the officers involved in Nichols’ death were charged and fired is “the blueprint” for holding police officers accountable in the future.

At a press conference on Friday, Crump said, “We’ve never seen justice move this fast.”

Crump said that Nichols’s family wants his death to lead to changes in the police, such as a law that makes it a police officer’s duty to stop a fellow officer from committing a crime.

Antonio Romanucci, an attorney for the family, asked Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis to get rid of the unit where some of the officers involved worked right away. The name of the unit is SCORPION.

RowVaughn Wells again asked for justice for her son and thanked the community for helping her family.

She said, “I still haven’t had time to grieve.” “What I’m going through right now is something no mother should have to go through.”

Before “appalling” footage is shown, federal officials are calling for peaceful protests.

Biden said that Nichols’ family deserves a “quick, full, and fair investigation” into his death and called for “peaceful protests” after charges were brought against the five former officers.

“We can’t ignore the fact that Black and Brown people are disproportionately affected by fatal encounters with law enforcement,” Biden said, renewing his call for policing reform legislation that Congress didn’t pass last year.

The death of Nichols is the subject of a civil rights investigation by the federal government. Friday, the head of the FBI, Chris Wray, said that the video of the incident was “appalling.”

Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland both asked for “calm” before any protests that might happen after the video came out.

Rebecca Morin, Joey Garrison, and Kevin Johnson, The newspaper USA TODAY

Video of Tyre Nichols getting pulled over: The FBI director is “appalled,” and Garland says it’s “strange.”

“The traffic stop was very questionable,” said the chief of police in Memphis.

Davis told Good Morning America on Friday that investigators haven’t been able to confirm that Nichols was driving recklessly before the stop and that “the stop itself was very questionable.”

Davis has called the event “heinous, reckless, and inhumane.” On Wednesday, he said that more officers are being looked into.

Memphis schools have cancelled after-school activities and are closing early.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” Memphis-Shelby County Schools cancelled all after-school events for Friday. Officials from the school said they would keep an eye on what was going on and decide Friday night if Saturday’s events would be cancelled.

In a release, school district officials said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Tyre Nichols’ family and everyone else in the Mid-South who has been affected by this tragedy.”

There will also be early closings at the University of Memphis, in restaurants, and at the community offices of the city power company.

Lawyers say that two former police officers will plead “not guilty.”

Blake Ballin and William Massey, who represent Desmond Mills Jr. and Emmitt Martin III, said that their clients will plead not guilty to the charges against them related to Nichols’ death. The lawyers for the defence said they hadn’t seen the video yet.

Massey said, “No one out there that night meant for Tyre Nichols to die.” “That’s crazy.”

Ballin said he hopes that people who watch the video will know “there’s more to the story.”

On Thursday, it wasn’t clear who was going to stand up for the other three officers who were charged in Nichols’ death.

Mikayla A. Watts and Katherine Burgess, Memphis Commercial Appeal

What happened to Tyre Nichols when the police pulled him over?

Officers stopped Nichols around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 because they thought he was driving recklessly. According to a statement from Memphis police, this led to a “confrontation.” Police said that Nichols ran away, was caught, and then there was another “confrontation.” The police have not said what happened during these “confrontations.”

Police said that Nichols later “complained of shortness of breath” and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The lawyers for Nichols’ family, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, said in a joint statement that an independent autopsy showed that Nichols “suffered extensive bleeding from a severe beating.”

Romanucci said that Nichols was “kicked” and hit with “multiple forms of force” over the course of a three-minute “undiluted beating.” Crump said that the video showed that Nichols was shocked, sprayed with pepper spray, and held down.

Five officers are charged in the death of Tyre Nichols.

As protests start, Memphis shows footage of Tyre Nichols's death. Here's what you can see in the video.
As protests start, Memphis shows footage of Tyre Nichols’s death. Here’s what you can see in the video.

Court records show that former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, and Desmond Mills Jr. have each been charged with one count of second-degree murder, aggravated assault – acting together, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and one count of official oppression.

All five men are black, and they were taken to the Shelby County Jail. On Thursday, they all paid their bonds, which ranged from $250,000 to $350,000.

Tennessee law says that people who kill someone in the second degree can go to prison for 15 to 60 years.

A fire department spokeswoman said that two Memphis firefighters were also “relieved of duty” while their actions after the stop were looked into. Officials say that the internal investigation into how the fire department helped care for Nichols at first will be finished next week.

Dig deeper

It can be traumatic to watch violent videos: How to deal with the news and social media when footage comes out.
Funeral arrangements set for Tyre Nichols: Rev. Al Sharpton to deliver eulogy.
Jesse Jackson, the Rev. After Tyre Nichols’s death, the feds should look into MPD. ​ ​

​​​​​Federal probe: A civil rights investigation was started after the death of a Tennessee man who died after being stopped by police.

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